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Thursday, February 22, 2018

What about protein and a vegan style diet?

There's that question again!

   You may have read my article on fruitarian Protein Myth. In that post I talk about how a fruitarian diet can and does provide us with as many amino acids as we need to build our own protein structures. I also talked a little bit about how our body actually takes in amino acids and builds protein out of that. If you haven't read that article and want to click the link at the bottom of this post. In this post I wanted to focus a little bit more on your typical vegan style diet. 

In a typical vegan diet you definitely have more options for what you eat. The reason why I chose raw vegan fruitarian is because I am detoxing and regenerating my cells. My diet is a fasting, cleansing and healing diet. We must do this to overcome our health concerns. If this is something that you may want to do, I suggest that you try vegan first and then begin transitioning into your fruit based program. Especially if you are coming from a Standard American Diet.
  
So, What about Protein and a vegan diet?

If you are following a vegan style diet then you probably get this question all the time. I know I do :) It seems that people don't care about your protein intake until you go vegan. When people ask this question they assume that animal products are the only sources of protein available for human beings. They are also assuming that animal source protein is a good source of protein for humans.
They forget that human beings are primate like creatures (frugivores) and that fruit, and plants are our primary source of food. They also fail to realize that many of the animals that people consume are actually plant eating creatures.

Cows for example are herbivores, meaning they exist on a diet primarily of plants like grass. But, no one ever says "I wonder how a cow gets its protein?" People who have animals who graze all day in the fields don't worry that their animals are't getting enough protein. We assume that a cow and other herbivore creatures gets its protein from what it eats. And they eat plants!

All protein is plant protein! The animals eat plants, and fruit, their body builds protein structures out of the available amino acids obtained from plant sources. In the case of a carnivore animal like a lion, they typically are eating other plant eaters, so the protein that is obtained is recycled plant protein, in the form of already structured proteins. For a true carnivore this is optimal, but for an herbivore, or frugivore it is not.


Likewise apes in their natural state eat a diet mostly of fruit! That is the diet they are designed for, and a fruitarian diet is what we are designed for too! Human beings do best on raw fruits, veggies and greens. We can also add raw seeds and nuts in that too. If its not a fruit, vegetable, seed or nut, its probably not good for us. In the case of your typical vegan style diet you would be adding to that your cooked grains, bean, and legumes.


As I have said there is plenty of opportunities for protein on a plant based diet. Rice, such as white rice or brown rice has 3 grams of protein per serving. Beans range from about 6 grams of protein to 8 grams. Nuts and seeds fall in between your grains and beans, with anywhere from 3, to 8 grams of protein per serving depending on the type of seed or nut. Include lentils in your diet and you have the potential to intake 9 grams of protein per serving. And lets not forget my favorite grain, quinoa. Quinoa has a whopping 14 grams of protein per serving, not to mention it is a nutritional powerhouse.

You can clearly see that any vegan diet that is including these foods, in addition to fruits and vegetables will have no problem what so ever of getting plenty of protein. The best part is this protein is plant based and a great par of a low fat, high fiber, and carbohydrate diet.

Is there anything lacking in a vegan diet?

There is absolutely nothing in animal products that we can't get on a vegan based diet, even a raw vegan fruitarian based diet. But in this post I want to focus on your typical vegan diet of fruit, vegetables, grains, bean, legumes, seeds and nuts. These are the foods made for us and they are loaded with everything that we need to live a healthy life.

Fruits and vegetables contain tons of nutrients, phytonutrients, vitamins, minerals (like calcuim), amino acids (for protein building) and tons of other stuff we don't even understand yet. Not to mention essential fatty acids, fiber, and B vitamins. It's also pretty easy to get your calories and protein eating a vegan diet that includes cooked foods. 

Cooked foods such as grains, beans, legumes and vegetables are higher in overall calories, and protein than your raw fruits, and vegetables. This is why it is super easy to get your calories, and protein on a vegan diet. Even if your raw its pretty easy, you just have to eat lots more food to get the amounts that you can get with cooked foods.

What about B12?
How does a person following a vegan diet get B12? Doesn't B12 come from animal products? It is true that animal products are a source of B12. It is also true that plant based foods do not supply our bodies with B12 in themselves. Most people conclude, therefore we need animal products to get B12 a much needed utrient. But, actually we don't!

B12 isn't actually a naturally occurring nutrient. But, before we get into that, ask yourself this question. If animal products are the only source for B12, then where does a cow (herbivore) get it? Where does an ape (frugivore) get their B12? These animals have just as much a requirement for B12 as we do but they don't consume animal products to get it. 

The answer is inside of your small intestines, and how your body works. 
The truth is animals such as herbivores and frugivores get their B12 from their raw plant based diets and the bacteria that comes along with it. A cow is going to eat the grass, which grows in the dirt, and in addition to taking in grass it takes in bacteria as well. B12 is then synthesized by the bacteria in the intestines. The only reason why we can get B12 from animal products is because the animals body has already created it from the bacterial result of a plant based diet.

As I mentioned above, B12 is not naturally occurring in plant based foods. but, B12 is actually synthesized inside of our small intestines by bacteria. This is how we naturally get B12 from plants. When we consume raw fruits, and vegetables these materials go into our digestive systems to get ready for digestion. While the material is waiting to be fully digested it ferments and bacteria is formed. Bacteria (which is good for us) is stored in the intestines and it is this bacteria that synthesis the B12. Like the animal proteins, B12 is a "second-hand" nutrient that was already synthesized by another animals intestinal flora.

B12 Deficiency
We can become B12 deficient when we eat a diet that prevents this bacteria growth, and storage in our intestines. We can also become lacking in B12 if we take antibiotic drugs, as well as pharmaceuticals in general. Anti bacterial drugs kill bacteria! Destroying that balance of beneficial intestinal flora in our systems. No bacteria, means no B12! I believe this is the biggest reason why vegetarians, or those following a vegan diet become B12 deficient. 

Another reason why we would become deficient is when we are not eating a vegan diet which is primarily raw fruits and vegetables. Another reason for B12 deficiency would be too sterile of an environment. Since B12 is synthesized by bacteria we need to be taking in bacteria from our environment. Keeping things too clean will stop that natural process of being exposed to bacteria, and essentially diminish the amount of B12 that can be formed. 

When our society sees B12 deficiency in vegans and vegetarians they tend to blame the lack of animal products for the problem. They say that, this is, "proof that you can't live on a vegan diet for long because you will lack nutrients." They put all of the focus on the B12 when that is pretty much the only nutrient that we can't directly get from plants. As you can see we can get it from plants, just not directly. We need the bacteria that is formed as a natural outcome of a plant based diet.

It is those raw plant based foods that are going to promote the production of bacteria and provide the body with the conditions necessary to synthesis B12. A vegan diet that does not consume 75% raw will probably have a hard time keeping up on the B12. Since bacteria are alive, and the beneficial bacteria that we need in our gut at all times is alive, we must consume primarily those living foods.

Also B12 is not hard to supplement if a deficiency does occur. You don't have to go out and start consuming animals because of your deficiency. Any health food store, or grocery store can supply you will a good quality vegan B12 supplement. The same goes for any nutrient that we may be lacking for one reason or another. If we learn about how our bodies actually work and how to propperly implement a vegan diet, then there is no need to worry that we aren't getting enough. I won't go into anymore detail here about B12. I think you get it!

In Conclusion!
As you can clearly see a vegan diet is not lacking in anything and there is nothing that we need that we can get either directly or indirectly get from a plant based diet. I hope this article was helpful to you. Thank you for reading and God bless! 


For more information; 

Fruitarian Protein Myth

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Health is Basic folks!

Health is Basic folks!
Dr. Morse

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